Blueberry Chai Frappe

The warmer weather brings about fun flavors that have been hiding away all winter. I am looking forward to seeing colorful vegetables teeming at the farmer’s markets and tasting the unique freshness straight off the farm. Today I thought I would start off with a fun shake to tide me over until all my favorite berries are in season once again. Being in the final days of my pregnancy, I am still trying to shy away from fresh raw dairy and sugar, so this drink is refined sugar and dairy free.

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Blueberry Chai Frappe

serves one – yes I actually only made it for myself! I made raw probiotic chocolate milk for the others instead :)

Put all the following in a Bullet or other Blender:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 heaping TB coconut milk powder
  • 2 raw egg yolks, pastured and fresh
  • dash of stevia
  • 1 tsp of raw honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon spice mix (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)
  • 1-2 cups filtered water

Mix up for 1 minute and enjoy!

Real Foods Pyramid Overview

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Nourishing Our Children

For those just starting out on a real food journey, I thought this article might be helpful. It’s a contribution I am making to a great local organization to educate and prepare women for the amazing motherhood experience. For more information and classes see: Roots Childbirth of Nashville

The Importance of Eating Real, Traditional Foods During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Real Food Pyramid Brief Overview by the Weston A. Price Foundation

“Please keep in mind that this is a brief overview and our food pyramid does not illustrate all of our dietary recommendations.  We propose that a healthy diet emphasize the foods that are most nutrient dense – those containing high levels of vitamins and minerals: wild caught seafood, and the organ meats, raw dairy,eggs and meat from animals on pasture.  That is why the foundation of our food pyramid pictured above includes some of these items.  A healthy diet consists of whole foods – specifically, whole, raw, milk and milk products that haven’t been pasteurized or homogenized nor reduced in fat content, as well as grass-fed meat with the fat. We would not recommend lean meats or skinless chicken breast, nor a diet that is low in saturated fats or cholesterol.  We propose that organic fruit be eaten more sparingly and that organic grains be sprouted or soaked before used in order to make them more digestible. We would discourage any consumption of trans fat, and margarine, however we do encourage the consumption of traditional fats from animals on pasture such as lard and butter.” – http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Pyramid.html (Nourishing Our Children of the WAPF)

PROTEIN/FATS

As the primary building block to a Real Foods diet, looking at where the protein is coming from is vital. The quality of the protein will ultimately determine whether that protein source will be nourishing or detrimental to mother and baby’s health. Animals fed on an industrial food model (including GMO-corn and food/animal waste products) and living in unsanitary and harmful conditions yield toxic, nutrient poor proteins (meats, dairy, eggs). On the other hand, animals living in their natural habitats, living on a natural diet (out in the pasture) yield proteins that are superior in their rich, nutrient content. For more information see: http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Home.html.

What to Look For in Protein Sources (dairy, eggs, meat, butter):

  • Grass-fed (or Pastured – meaning the animal lives predominantly on green pastures)

  • Organic (no use of GMO corn or soy)

  • Wild-caught (fish are caught in the sea/ocean and not raised on a farm, fed harmful ingredients)

Get Real Milk:

As with meat, not all dairy is raised equally in nutrient content and processing. Dairy that comes from an industrial dairy is ultimately compromised in its nutrient content and devoid of most of the nourishing factors that make this such a healthy product. Industrial dairy in the US is also pasteurized and homogenized – two processes that denature the proteins and fats in the milk and render the end product toxic, rather than healthful. Please read the following article on the difference between consuming organically raised, raw dairy over industrial dairy (and also where to find sources): http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Milk.html. If one is not able to find raw milk, using fermented, organic dairy such as cheeses, yogurts, or kefir would be the next best option.

ORGANIC VEGETABLES

Finding in season, local, organic vegetables is a great way to get nutrient dense food into your diet. Studies have shown that organic vegetables have greater phyto-nutrient content compared to their commercial counterparts. Also equally important,  avoiding any toxins during this time only multiplies the health of the baby and herself.

GRAINS

Looking at the wide array of grain allergies and intolerances we have today begs a closer look at the grain products in the Western diet. Traditional cultures have always soaked, fermented, or sprouted their grains for proper absorption and digestion. Though they did not know it then, these methods also neutralize harmful anti-nutrients (this is the way the seed is designed to preserve itself from spoiling and be able to lay dormant until awakened with water and light) and toxins (one example being gluten) naturally found in most grains (and also in beans, seeds, and legumes). If you are not able to bake your own sourdough (the natural process to ferment flour) bread and grain products, finding a local source for real, sourdough bread would be ideal, or buying only sprouted breads (like Trader Joe’s brand, or Ezekial Breads). Buying grains in their whole form and soaking, then cooking them is superior to buying any already packaged flour/grain product.

Soaking Basics (for beans too):

  • Cover grain with filtered water (leaving about 3 inches extra water standing on top)

  • Add a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice

  • Allow to sit, loosely covered for 12-24 hours

  • Rinse and cook

HEALTHY TIDBITS:

Lastly, a final note on sweets, salts and oils is important to touch on. Avoiding refined products makes a definite impact on the health of mama and baby. Here is a simple list of healthy options as well as those ones to be avoided.

Healthful Sweeteners, Oils and Salts:

  • Raw Honey

  • Stevia

  • Real Salt, Celtic Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt

  • Coconut Oil:  expeller-pressed

  • Real, extra virgin Olive Oil

  • Sesame Oil – expeller-pressed

To Be Avoided:

  • Refined, white salt

  • Corn syrup – or any syrup other than Grade B Maple Syrup

  • Refined, white and brown sugar

  • Canola, Peanut, Soybean, Corn and all “Vegetable” Oils

LEARN MORE ABOUT REAL FOODS

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t panic! Many resources, tutorials, and videos are out there to help you make  transition to a Real Foods diet.

For a great place to start go to:  http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Resources.html.

Italian Chocolate Cake

As promised, here is the chocolate cake recipe we have been enjoying over the past week. I did originally make it in a flat sheet, but the marscapone frosting would do better between two layers of cake, with the ganache (though it’s technically not a ganache because it doesn’t have cream in it, I am calling it that, because it tastes so similar) on the top layer. This recipe is grain and sugar cane free – except for the ganache (see adaption below to remedy that if necessary).

cacotree

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Italian Chocolate Cake

Makes 2 9″circle cake pans

Ingredients:

  • 12 pastured eggs
  • 1 cup raw cream
  • 1 cup melted butter (or half coconut oil and butter)
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp Real Salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda, aluminum free
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, aluminum free, gmo free
  • 2 droppers of Vanilla Stevia (or a pinch of powdered – I use NuNaturals)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa

Method:

  1. Add each ingredient, one at a time in the listed order. Mixing well each new item until well combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients in slowly, allowing for complete uniformity.
  3. Allow to mix for a couple minutes, adding more liquid if too dry or more cream if too wet.
  4. Pour batter into 2 well greased and dusted (I use brown rice flour) stainless steel circle cake pans (9″).
  5. Bake at 350 for between 20-30 minutes – keep checking it, you don’t want to dry it out and over bake it. Better to check it early and often.
  6. When done, take out of cake pans and allow to cool on two separate plates.

Marscapone Frosting

This will go in the middle of your cakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cream
  • 1 8oz container of good quality marscapone cheese
  • 1/4-1/3 cup raw honey
  • pinch of stevia or Vanilla Stevia extract

Method:

  1. Beat the cream until it peaks (be careful not to go too long or you will have butter, or lumpy cream).
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the remaining ingredients until combined well.
  3. Gently combine the two bowls, tasting and adding more honey or stevia until desired sweetness is achieved. I like it to be just barely sweet, leaving the super sweet for the ganache topping.
  4. Once the cakes are cooled, this frosting will go in the middle of layers – you could also divide the circles into half and create a 4-layer cake with this frosting in between each layer. Add a thin layer on the top – totally optional if you have enough.

Chocolate Ganache Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or unsweetened chips/baking bar if going for no sugar)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (or 1/2-3/4 cup if using unsweetened cocoa + stevia to taste)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

Method:

  1. Gently heat all ingredients on low until melted and combined.
  2. Allow to cool just to slightly warm.
  3. Pour ganache on the top of the last layer of the cake and allow to drip down the sides.

Lastly, put cake in the fridge to solidify – or outside (well covered to keep away pesky farm animals). This cake tastes better the longer it is allowed to chill. Enjoy!

Lemon Coconut Cake

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January is a very busy month around here. We have three birthdays, each 7 days apart from each other. As a family tradition, the birthday child/adult picks out what he or she would like for dinner as well as what kind of cake to enjoy. Nathaniel asked for a half vanilla and half chocolate cake, to please everyone, he says. How sweet. Aaron is having chocolate. In the oven is a coconut flour, sugar grain free chocolate cake, for which I will top with a marscapone chocolate frosting (with raw honey).  This past week, we had our monthly meeting with the topic being Real Food and Real Health, a bit of an intro class into what these look like. I brought a lemon coconut cake with me. It turned out better than I expected, so I thought I would post the recipe. Remember I don’t always measure everything, so use your best judgement and keep in mind that you’re looking for the right consistency when it comes to the batter. Coconut flour takes a bit of getting used to, but with some trial and error, the rewards of having a protein packed, gluten free dessert are so worth it. After we all devour the chocolate cake tonight, I might post that recipe as well.

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Lemon Coconut Cakegluten and grain sugar free

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs, pastured
  • 1 cup organic butter, melted
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup raw cream, from grassfed cows
  • 3 droppers of vanilla stevia (I use NuNaturals) – or just use a dash of powder stevia
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 TB lemon zest, organic
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda, aluminum free
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, aluminum free, gmo free
  • 1 cup coconut flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour (I use sprouted brown rice flour for dusting) a 9 x 12 pan (or about that size).
  2. Add each ingredient listed in order, one at a time. Wait to add the coconut flour until after having allowed the liquid ingredients to blend well.
  3. Slowly add the coconut flour and allow to mix for another couple minutes.
  4. If the batter is thick enough as a cake batter, but not overly so, then turn off the mixer, if the batter seems a little runny after several minutes of mixing, add just a TB of coconut flour until you get the desired consistency. It shouldn’t take much though. A little goes a LONG way.
  5. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 25 minutes.
  6. Keep checking the cake every 5 minutes until a knife comes out clean, be careful not to overbake or it will be dry.
  7. Allow to cool and add the following frosting recipe.

Coconut Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • pinch of stevia
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw cream

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, add all of the ingredients, except the shredded coconut.
  2. Whisk together with a fork or whisk until the mixture bubbles and starts to get thick (not too much), about 5 minutes
  3. Once frosting is thick, add coconut flakes.
  4. Allow to cool and then spread onto the cake.

Enjoy!

Get Rid of Yeast Overgrowth

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After successfully killing several bouts of overgrown yeast, I thought I’d post the protocol and diet that is necessary to follow in order to kill out the bad yeast/fungus and allow the good to repopulate and rebalance the entire body. The supplements I recommend I have used either personally for myself or for my family with good results. Depending on how severe your problem is will depend on which one you decide to use. Also, there are recommendations for the ones safest for children or nursing/pregnant mothers. Keep in mind if you’ve dealt with leaky gut or have had lived/been in a mold environment, it is best to do a yeast cleanse; as the chances that the bad have overtaken the good is highly probable in those compromised situations.

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Supplements:

For adults and children over 9 (children receive half an adult serving): Inner Defense by Young Living – 5 capsules twice a day for 9 days. 

For adults and children over 9 (children still at half the adult serving): Can-Sol by Pure Herbs – 1 tsp twice a day for 10 days.

For nursing/pregnant mothers and children under 9 (children still at 1/2 adult dose, and 1/4 dose if under 2 years): 1 TB of Molecular Silver (not the same as colloidal; please message me for the #, they don’t have a website) – once a day for 15 days. 

Garden of Life Probiotics (or BioKult) – work up to 9 capsules a day for 3 months. (GoL also has probiotcs for children as well in a powder form that is awesome.)

Diet (to be done for at least 15 days – longer if you’ve had this problem for a long time):

The No-no’s:

  • SUGAR – of any kind – sugar FEEDS yeast and harmful pathogens – this includes any gluten containing grains and corn as well
  • Canned foods – in aluminum canning 
  • Vinegar – including Kombucha
  • Packaged meats (like deli meats)
  • No processed or boxed foods
  • No gluten containing grains unless sprouted
  • No dairy – not even cheese, trust me you can live without it for just 2 weeks :)
  • No sugar fruits (strawberries, cherries, grapes, oranges, bananas, etc. – look it up for a complete list)
  • No starchy white potatoes, or pumpkin

The Yes Foods:

  • Grass-fed, pastured meats
  • Proteins – pastured eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts
  • Good fats – organic butter, olive, sesame, flax, coconut oils, animal fats
  • Sprouted grains – make your own sprouted grain bread, or just avoid breads for a couple weeks
  • Soaked brown rice or oats
  • Low-glycemic fruits – like blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, pears, apples, lemons, grapefruit
  • All veggies – except for carrots unless cooked, not juiced and minimally
  • Yams or sweet potatoes, squashes (like spaghetti or butternut, delicata or acorn)
  • Coconut or almond milk – make your own or get unsweetened without additives
  • Raw honey or stevia – has to be raw to not affect blood sugar and not feed yeast

That’s about it. It’s very similar to the GAPS diet. So, if you’ve been on that diet anyways, it’d be good to do a yeast cleanse while you’re there. This is a great detox diet in general for any kind of cleanse – colon, kidney, liver, parasites, heavy metals, etc. If you haven’t done one or all of these cleanses at least once a year, I would really recommend it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. But really, if I could avoid having any dis-ease just by detoxing and “fasting” from certain foods and using the right herbs/oils/supplements, it’s worth so much more in my time and energy, emotional health – not to mention the health of those I am responsible to take care of! God bless you on your journey towards being fully whole!

Granola Chocolate Cookies – grain free

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I made a big old batch of this grain free granola (and refined sugar free). It didn’t take off with much of anyone in the house (I like quinoa in things but not really as the main ingredient). Thinking I could use it for something someday, I put it in a plastic gallon bucket and stuck it in the freezer. Flash forward to today, I am getting ready to have snacks and food for our Classical Conversations Meet up and I am out of sprouted kamut flour (one of my main ingredients for healthy cookies). Knowing it would take me another 48 hours to make more, I scoured the freezer in search of random bits and pieces of g/f flours and ingredients. I came up with coconut flour, eggs, shredded coconut, and the quinoa granola. Grinding the granola into a mealy flour, I had just enough for some cookies. I try to use 4 cups of a nutrient dense flour (like sprouted kamut) and 2 cups of a nut flour. This is most economical for our large family. Sprouting my own grains not only minimizes the gluten and anti-nutrients in the grain, but it also is way cheaper than buying them online. Nut flours are a bit more costly, so I try to be more conservative with them. At any rate, the end result was a brownie-like consistency with just enough structure to make them into cookies. Here’s my best estimates of what I did:

photo credit (from Wikipedia – read up on quinoa here)

Granola Chocolate Cookies (grain free)

yields enough for my family for 2 days ;)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pastured butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1 tsp baking soda, aluminum free
  • 1 tsp Real Salt
  • 1 TB vanilla extract, homemade if you have it
  • 4 pastured eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 droppers vanilla stevia (or pinch of powdered stevia)
  • 4 cups blended granola (grain free recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Grind up granola in food processor or Blendtec.
  2. In mixer, add butter, salt, soda, vanilla, stevia, and eggs – one at a time.
  3. While mixer is running, slowly add cocoa, granola, and coconut flour.
  4. Add shredded coconut 1/2 cup at a time and watch your consistency – I add just enough to make it start to ball up into cookie like dough.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for about 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven.
  7. Enjoy!

Side note: I like using the shredded coconut as a thickener of sorts, kind of like you would use oats in a cookie recipe. And if you keep your coconut in the freezer, the coldness will help harden up your cookie dough, making it easier to spoon out. Hope you enjoy these as fast as my kids did! 

Yerba Mate Choffy Latte

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What a fun name. Learning the health benefits of Yerba Mate tea, I have tried including it in some recipe. My new favorite hot drink of the season has been choffy with maca root the cream. I discovered choffy at a homeschool convention last year and had wondered what I could do with these cacao nibs I had. Perfect solution! I roasted them in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. I then ground them in my Blendtec. Here’s my recipe to include the Yerba Mate:

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Yerba Mate Choffy Latte

Makes about a quart

  1. Put  1/3 cup ground roasted cacao nibs into an empty quart jar.
  2. Add 2-3 TB roasted Yerba Mate loose leaves.
  3. Pour hot water to fill the quart and allow to steep for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add 1/8-1/4 cup cream or whole, raw milk to a small blender (like MagicBullet), and 1 tsp Maca Root powder.
  5. Blend up until frothy and powder incorporated (about 20 seconds).
  6. Strain out “choffy” mixture into a mug and top with maca cream.
  7. Sweeten with raw honey and/or stevia to taste.

Enjoy! I find this to be a great alternative to having a sweet treat or snack. Plus, superfoods never tasted so good!

BE a Modern Day Abolitionist – Set These Children FREE

If you have not seen this yet, you have to. 

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https://www.operationundergroundrailroad.org/

 

It is an operation to save children who are sex slaves – from the ages of 3 on up, kidnapped from their families and sold in the human trafficking horrors. Please donate and save a child from this nightmare. One child I heard was kidnapped from his own Sunday School class and is just now being rescued. It can be anyone’s child. If you have no money, the very least you can do it pray and spread the word. 

 

“To the children 
who we pray for daily, we say: 
Your long night is coming to an end.

Hold on. We are on our way.

And to those captors and perpetrators,
even you monsters who dare offend God’s
precious children, we declare to you:

Be afraid. We are coming for you.

To those who have read this far,
we plead with you: Donate to our cause.

Donate. We can’t do this without you.”

Spicy Veggie Eggs

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Now that I can have spicy foods again, I have been trying to build up my repertoire in the fiery seasoned world. Since hot peppers are not sprayed, they easy to find at most stores and don’t have to be organic. I bought some Anaheim and Pablano peppers to experiment with. I have used them for sauteed dishes as well as homemade salsas so far. I also want to start including more of the orange/yellow colored spices into my cooking, since they’re so amazingly good for you. Here’s what I cam up with for lunch today:

Spicy Veggie Eggs

1-2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 of onion, chopped
  • 2-4 Tb coconut oil
  • 2 large Bellini mushrooms
  •  1/4 of Anaheim and Pablano peppers
  • 1 small sweet potato, preferably cooked
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • Real Salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp or more to taste turmeric
  • dash cardamom (optional)
  • 1 tsp cilantro

Method:

  1. Sautee the onions, mushrooms, peppers, and potato in the coconut oil until soft.
  2. Add spices, salt and herbs.
  3. Add eggs, being careful not to break the yolk.
  4. Cook until whites of eggs are mostly cooked, gently flip over and turn off the heat.
  5. Allow to set for just a minute to finish cooking the white, but keeping the yolks uncooked.

Enjoy!

More Detox Thoughts

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As I progress in my journey to heal myself with the God given provisions around me, I am ever aware of how much we truly understand of the human body. However, the amazing intelligent design of His Creation just keeps on surprising me as to how well His herbs, science, oils, etc. know just how to work with our bodies and vice versa, despite my conscious intellect.

Reading up on ionic foot bath detoxes, much controversy can be found. Some naturalists claim it is all a hoax, while others swear by it. From what I gather and my own personal experience, I have learned that the toxins may not actually come out in the bathwater, but rather can be detoxed into the colon. I believe this is where “professionals” get lost, because of the discrepancy of where the toxins go. Unless someone does some studies on toxins in a person’s colon after the foot bath, they’re likely to keep believing nothing is happening. How does it work? Basically the interaction of the water and salts with an ion generator work to stimulate the main detoxification organs to go to work double time.

I actually felt more energetic after my third bath, whereas the first two left me pretty drained, a common side effect of major detoxification. I am determined to go at least 2 more times to see what else will happen. I have noticed though that after this last session, I finally do not have joint pain, which I have been dealing with a lot lately – despite my juicing and regular superfoods and real nutrition lifestyle. While I am still deciding on how exactly this works and how many times it’s necessary to go to see major results, I have also been using other detox methods.

Olio Del Re has been my new best friend lately. Its Italian created formula of essential oils have seemingly endless uses. I have used it to help detox particular organs by rubbing it directly on that area, or put on the bottom of my feet to work in many places throughout the body. Since most eo users know the foot is a map of the body, putting an oil there is really getting your money’s worth. Lately, I have been putting it on my colon to help escort these toxins out as I am detoxing. Today, I put it on my head in the area where the insular cortex is, because I read about how that’s the area where the brain communicates with the gastrointestinal tract. The signalling pathways in the brain can become clogged with toxins, which then creates mayhem in the rest of the body which is not getting the correct information and instructions. Reading this article really made some insightful connections for me on this topic. I am awaiting to see what kind of detoxification this does as it stimulates the brain to get those toxins out of there.

After finally having cleared out almost every sign of diverticulitis from my colon, I am still left with this annoying bloating and overly full feeling, even when I haven’t eaten for hours. It has very little to do with anything I eat, which leads me to believe that there is a communication malfunction between my brain and gut. I believe that if I can clear out and heal the insular cortex in the brain, that the communication will free up and the natural healing processes can finish, thus allowing the inflammation to cease.

Boswellia – photo credit

Lastly, I am looking to add some medicinal mushrooms and boswellia to my daily diet. While nursing and being pregnant for the past 9 years, I haven’t been able to really try any. From my studies, I am learning  about how medicinal mushrooms contain amazing healing properties to detox the brain and heal the colon. I had looked at Mike’s Cocoa Mojo and might copy his recipe with my cacao nibs. I have also looked into adding boswellia since it should help as well. Why not? I will try anything (natural and Godly) once.

I should post a recipe for good measure, shouldn’t I? My favorite hot drink so far this week: roasted cacao nibs brewed like a strong coffee, add in some raw cream, 1 tsp of maca root powder, a little stevia and raw honey, and viola! Amazing malted hot chocolate that’s full of superfood goodness. Stay tuned for more updates. For the first part of this series, check it out here.

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